23 days ago
Admissions Advice

What kind of papers to submit in Williams' writing supplement

Hi. I am writing a research paper. Can I submit that for my writing supplement for Williams College?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
23 days ago[edited]


"Williams does not require a writing supplement. However, students who are interested in submitting an example of their written work have the option of sharing an academic paper completed within the last year, ideally 3-5 pages in length. The paper does not need to be graded, and can be creative or analytical. Please do not submit lab reports. If submitting this optional paper, please include a description of the assignment or prompt.

Students can apply using the following application platforms–Coalition, Common Application, or QuestBridge Application.

Please email admission​@williams​.edu with any questions."

Unless your research paper is less than 5 pages, I would err on the side of caution to submit a long research paper.

My reason is two-fold.

1.) They state emphatically that "ideally 3-5 pages in length".

2.) William Admission Readers only spend say 10 minutes tops on reading your entire application file including your other essays, teacher recommendations, and counselor recommendations, and trying to absorb like 200 data points to craft some sort of rubric for whether to admit you or not. If you are going to submit a 10-15 page research paper, a.) they are not going to read it in its entirety, and b.) you might get a ding for not following directions.

Imagine you are the AO and only have 10 minutes to read about @hmnfr. The optional writing sample should only be submitted if and only if it provides more useful information about yourself that is not completely evident in the rest of your application. It needs to be additive and purposeful.

Hope that helps you decide what to do.

23 days ago

As someone posted from the Williams admissions website, you can submit a writing supplement if it fits within the guidelines that they mention. At college vine when thinking about submitting optional things we generally say to submit if you think what you have to offer is exceptional. You don't want to annoy an admissions officer reading your application with a paper that is longer than what was specified or that is average and doesn't stand out. If you aren't submitting something stellar, I would say you don't need to submit.


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